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of the bound volumes of THE WRITER and THE AUTHOR, together with a subscription for THE WRITER for 1894, — either for himself or as a useful present to a literary friend?
W. H. H.
A PLEA FOR DIALECT.
Having read Mrs. Denison's article in the January WRITER, and being also "saturated with dialect," I beg leave to say a few words from another point of view.
Why, may I ask, should one become so steeped in dialect that one feels like "letting go all the niceties of grammar and rhetoric," niceties inherent and acquired, any more than one would feel constrained to let go the eighth commandment after reading the adventures of a thief? How can it be in any sense refreshing to "get out of the common routine, and say 'naw' for no"?
Wouldn't it be as refreshing and suggest just as "delightfully lazy" an existence to forego one's bath for a month, because of a certain hero, who proved that a man might be a "man for a' that"?
The dialect story is vastly instructive and entertaining, whether it suggests new words and phrases that are apt and striking, or impales in cold type the mistakes which long familiarity has led us to condone. Said one intelligent young person who had had but meagre educational advantages, "I always mispronounced 'creek,' and never knew I was wrong until I saw it spelled 'crick 'in a dialect story." There is a fascination in " chasing verbal monstrosities to their lair"; and what a subtle charm has a peculiar pronounciation upon lips polite! The conversation of my little Southern cousin, who habitually and unconsciously slurs her r's, is a perpetual delight.
In the assembly room of the Woman's Building last summer, the Countess of Aberdeen, in a clear, thrilling voice, spoke so earnestly, so winningly, in the interests of "my gells," that one at least in that vast audience conceived a lasting admiration for the great lady who was so sweetly human.
That dialect is a power when deftly used no one can deny. Whole pages of description will not give so deep an insight into a human heart,
or conjure up so vivid a picture of stolidity, brutality, or ignorance, of self-sacrifice, simple faith, or divine tenderness, as will the terse, rugged sentences, ungrammatical, unrhetorical, though they be:
Homely phrases, but each letter
Of the Here and the Hereafter."
Surely our literature is deep enough and broad enough to admit the dialect story on an equality with the "sweet, simple English of Irving, and the straightforward, robust style of Scott." A. M. Jackson.
MCALEVY'S FORT, Penn.
Please kindly inform Mary A. Denison, through the pages of THE WRITER, that she is very much mistaken, not to say unjust, in asserting that some one heard “you-uns " uttered "down in Louisiana," unless the expression was used only as a quotation.
I was born "down in Louisiana," spending my early childhood in the southern portion, and the past eighteen years in the northern part, embracing three different parishes, and never have I heard a native Louisianian, either black or white, say "you-uns." A Georgian, who lived in this town several years ago, once admitted that he had heard the phrase used by the illiterate of his state.
Accusing Louisianians of using vernacular peculiar to another state, simply because both are Southern, is as bad as saying that American women are noted for their discordant voices, when I venture to say that no other women in the universe have softer or more melodious. voices in conversation than the women of the South; while the difference between the voice of a Southern and a Northern woman is sufficiently marked to enable a Southerner, blindfolded, to select either one you designate as soon as she speaks.
We Louisianians suffer enough from melted. snow and ice coming down upon us from the Northern country, without the added injury of a shower of Northern ink, following the lead of such parasites as Cable and one or two others.
I wish to have a book for small children published. It treats principally of animals, written in the form of a story.
(1.) Where would you advise me to have such a book published?
(2.) What would you think to be the best plan for a beginner in book-writing to follow? Sell the manuscript?
(3.) I should like a few illustrations in it. Do the publishers, or does the writer, attend to this?
(4.) What size paper is it best to use? and how is it best to send the manuscript, folded or rolled?
You find, from these questions, that this is my first attempt at book-writing, though I have had several articles accepted by papers.
T. B. R.
[(1.) No one can give any advice worth having regarding publishers to whom it may be best to submit a given manuscript without first examining the manuscript. In a general way, a list of publishers who have issued works of the same class as that described might be given, but probably more money would be expended for postage in using the list than The Writer's Literary Bureau would charge for examining the manuscript and giving the opinion of an expert as to what publishers would be most likely to want to issue it. It is generally economy for an inexperienced writer to pay the reading fee of The Writer's Literary Bureau, since by so doing he is likely to save in postage more than the cost of the advice he gets.
(2.) A beginner in book writing is fortunate generally, if he can get his book published on any terms, excepting at his own expense, either by selling the manuscript outright or on a royalty arrangement.
(3.) The publisher of a book generally provides for illustrations, the author, of course, furnishing the requisite material, if desired.
(4.) For a book manuscript it is best to use paper about 8 x 10 inches in size, single sheets, numbered consecutively at the top from titlepage to "finis." No manuscript should ever
[The most practical and helpful book for the student of dramatic composition is "The Art of Playwriting," by Alfred Hennequin. The Writer Publishing Company will send a copy, post-paid, on receipt of the publishers' price, $1.00. Price's "Technique of the Drama" is well worth studying, although it has the faults that were pointed out in the review in the November WRITER. In spite of its defects, it contains many useful suggestions for the playwright. A few important practical hints are given also in William H. Crane's article, "Playwriting from the Actor's Point of View," in the North American Review for September, which The Writer Publishing Company will send on receipt of fifty cents.-W. H. H.]
THE SCRAP BASKET.
In the prospectus of a literary paper recently sent to me, it is stated that the periodical in question "is edited with a single eye to the encouragement of good literature." If a "full pair " of eyes cannot be employed in this work, would it not be as well to speak of "an eye single" to the good cause? Brinton W. Woodward. LAWRENCE, Kan.
It may be of interest to the readers of THE WRITER to know that the walls of the office of the Department of Promotion and Publicity, in the Administration Building at the Columbian Exposition, were papered with the different journals of the world. Quite artististic was the result, too, the illustrated papers being grouped
Just to look at the pictures in "King's Handbook of New York City" is almost as good as a visit to New York. There are more than 1,000 of them in the book, and they are all halftone reproductions of excellent photographs, taken expressly for this work. They give an absolutely faithful idea of New York City as it is to-day, even to picturing accurately the throngs of people as they move about the streets; for as the photographs are instantane. ous, most of them are full of life. Without going to New York, then, by the aid of Mr. King's admirable book, one can get to know the metropolis almost as well as the average New Yorker does even better, in some respects, for the text gives accurate information about the city in general, and about every object of interest in it, that even well-informed New Yorkers generally do not possess. text of the book is as good as the pictures, and that is saying a great deal. It has been written by many individuals, chief among whom was M. F. Sweetser, and their manuscript has undergone revision at the hands of several thousand people, each an authority on the portion submitted to him. Accuracy has thus been assured, and the volume has been brought absolutely up to date in all respects. Finally, to make the book complete, there is an index of twenty-four pages, containing 20,000 references, so that every item of information in the work is made instantly accessible. Altogether this handbook justifies the claim made in the preface to the second edition, that it is "the handsomest, the most thorough, the largest, the most costly, and the most profusely illustrated book of its class ever issued for any city in the world." Its success has been extraordinary.
The first edition of 10,000 copies was exhausted in ten months. This second edition is practically a new book, nearly every text page having been rewritten and reset, and about 300 new engravings having been inserted. Every editor and writer in the country needs to have a copy of the book for reference. It contains everything about New York that any one could want to know. W. H. H. VICK'S FLORAL GUIDE FOR 1894. 112 pp. Paper, 10 cents. Rochester, N. Y.: James Vick's Sons. 1894.
An annual publication which is watched for with interest every year by lovers of flowers and horticulture is Vick's Floral Guide," the 1894 number of which has just appeared. The new book is an improvement on the issues of previous years. The cover design is an attractive one, with a gold background, on which is printed in colors a fine bunch of Vick's new white branching aster, which when cut resembles the chrysanthemum so closely that only experts can tell the difference. It comes into flower six weeks before the chrysanthemum, and can easily be grown out of doors, and the seeds cost only twenty-five cents a packet. On the back of the cover is a picture of the new double anemone, another attractive novelty. The "Guide," as usual, is full of information about seeds and flower-growing. Its price, by the way, is deducted from the cost of the first order for seeds received from the purchaser. To editors the publishers make special offers of prizes of $125, $75, $50, $25, $15, and $10 for the best double-column advertisement of from four to eight inches, and of $50, $25, $15, and $10 for the best single-column advertisement of from five to nine inches submitted in print in some regular publication before March 10, 1894.
W. H. H.
SIR FRANCIS BACON'S CIPHER STORY. Discovered and deciphered by Orville W. Owen, M. D. 198 pp. Paper, 50 cents. Detroit Howard Publishing Company. 1893. Dr. Owen asserts, and says that he has proved, that Bacon was the author, not only of the plays credited to Shakespeare, but those also of George Peele, Christopher Marlowe, and Robert Greene, and of the works of Burton and Spenser. Not only is this so, Dr. Owen says, but in all these works Bacon included, by means of a cipher, secret histories, including the story of his own life, a translation of a considerable part of Homer's "Iliad," and a general history of England. According to this cipher writing, Bacon was the son of Queen Elizabeth and the Earl of Leicester by a secret marriage; he tells how Essex, his dearest friend, was murdered at the command of the queen, and how Elizabeth was strangled in her bed by Robert Cecil, and relates other startling occurrences not set down in ordinary history. Dr. Owen avers that, having discovered the existence of the cipher, he followed Bacon's direc
tions, and, dissecting a folio Shakespeare and other works, placed the pages on a great wheel to facilitate the work of thousands of shiftings from passage to passage and from page to page. As a result, he has written out, and is to publish, several parts of Bacon's secret work, the first book being that now before the public. After all this work has been completed, the key to the cipher and the story of its discovery by Dr. Owen are to be given in a final volume. Until that is done, the ordinary reader will be in doubt, probably, whether Dr. Owen is a romancer, a lunatic, or an immortal discoverer. There is nothing in the book already published that could not have been written by any ordinary penny-a-liner. It does not seem reasonable that a man having the transcendent ability required to write all the works which Dr. Owen says Bacon did write, in addition to those that he is known to have written, should have taken
the trouble to set down in a most difficult cipher such a dull and wordy work as the first section of "Sir Francis Bacon's Cipher Story." Dr. Owen declares that from first to last he has not added or subtracted a word in putting on paper Bacon's story as it came to him in the cipher, so that, if he tells the truth, Bacon must be blamed for the lack of literary merit in the recital. Until the decipherer shows the public the process of deciphering, however, so that people may judge for themselves whether the work is his or Bacon's, it is only right and merciful that Sir Francis should be given all the benefit of the doubt.
W. H. H.
Letters of TRAVEL. By Phillips Brooks. Edited by M. F. B. 386 pp. Cloth, $2.00. New York: E. P. Dutton & Co. 1893.
These letters of travel of the late Bishop Brooks show the great preacher in a new light. They have been selected from his correspondence with members of his family, and relate to two journeys, of more than a year in duration, taken in 1865-66 and in 1882-83, respectively, the former when he was rector of the Church of the Holy Trinity, Philadelphia, the latter when he was rector of Trinity Church, Boston,
and to shorter summer trips, generally of about three months in duration. As the preface says, "these letters of travel give an important chapter of his life that was always of the greatest delight to him, and in which are represented many of his most striking personal characteristics. . . . The letters retain the familiar character which belonged to them as being intended for the members of his own family, and they are thus enabled to convey not only an interesting story of travel, but also something of that personal charm, and ready wit, and genial appreciation which those who were nearest to him loved so well. In all these letters his nature will be seen in its sunniest
"Baby's Kingdom" is a very handsome and attractive book to start with, and when it is properly filled out, it is sure to be the most interesting book in any mother's library. The idea of a specially prepared book in which a mother may keep a record of the events of a baby's life is a very happy one, and such a book, well-kept, is sure both to give pleasure to the parents of the baby whose history is recalled and to the baby also in after years. Baby's Kingdom" is well planned, and in every way admirably adapted to its purpose. Suitable blanks are provided for recording the date of birth, gifts, the baby's weight at birth and at the end of each month for the first year, the christening, the baby's name, the baby's picture, the baby's first tooth, first words, first birthday, first step, first Christmas, Christmas gifts, etc., while there are plenty of blank leaves for a complete record of important happenings. designing in the book is artistic, and the illustrative quotations are appropriate and interesting. Altogether, "Baby's Kingdom" is a model book of its kind, and any mother will be fortunate who becomes possessor of a copy.
C. D. J. To Save Manuscript Paper. I am delighted with a plan I have just adopted to save manuscript paper. I rewrite so much that I find that economy is necessary. I save all the blank white paper that I can, such as backs of letters, circulars, weather reports, etc., and, cutting them to convenient size, stitch with sewing machine across the top into packages of from ten to fifteen sheets. On these I write my first drafts, and thus avoid the trouble of numbering them as I go, and they are warranted to keep together with any amount of careless handling. C. D. J.
DAVID STARR JORDAN. Anderson. Popular Science Monthly ( 50 c.) for February. SMALL PAPERS FOR AMATEURS AND OTHERS. Printers' Ink (10 c.) for January 24.
With portrait. Professor M. B.
ON CERTAIN TENDENCIES IN AMERICAN LITERature. Walter Blackburn Harte. Worthington's Magazine (25 c.) for February.
SOME NOTES ON THE ILLUMINATED BOOKS OF THE MIDDLE AGES. William Morris. Illustrated. Magazine of Art (35 c.) for February.
How GREAT NEWSPAPERS ARE PRINTED. Isabel Ames. Illustrated. Demorest's Family Magazine (20 c.) for Feb
MY LITERARY PASSIONS. William D. Howells. Ladies' Home Journal (10 c.) for February.
THE SCIENCE AND THE ART OF DRAMATIC EXPRESSION. Alice Wellington Rollins. Lippincott's (25 c.) for February. HAVE YOUNG WRITERS A CHANCE? Lippincott's (25 c.) for February.
ROBERT LOWE AS A JOURNALIST. A. Patchett Martin. Reprinted from National Review in Littell's Living Age (18 c.) for January 20.
THE CRADLE OF THE LAKE POETS. William Connor Sydney. Reprinted from Blackwood's Magazine in Littell's Living Age (18 c. ) for January 20.
MATTHEW ARNOLD. Leslie Stephen. Reprinted from National Review in Littell's Living Age (18 c.) for Janu